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means the spirit of an author may be transfused, and yet not loft: and thus it is plain, that the reason alledged by Sir John Denham has no farther force than to expression : for thought, if it be translated truly, cannot be loft in another language; but the words

it to our apprehenfion (which are the image and ornament of that thought) may be fo ill chosen, as to make it appear in an unhandsome dress, and rob it of its native luftre. There is, therefore, a liberty to be allowed for the expression; neither is it necessary that words and lines should be confined to the measure of their original. The sense of an author, generally speaking, is to be sacred and inviolable. If the fancy of Ovid be luxuriant, it is his character to be so; and if I retrench it, he is no longer Ovid. It will be replied, that he receives advantage by this lopping of his superfluous branches; but I rejoin, that a translator has no such right. When a painter copies from the life, I suppose he has no privilege to alter features, and lineaments, under pretence that his picture will look better : perhaps the face, which he has drawn, would be more exact, if the eyes or nofe were altered; but it is his business to make it refemble the original. In two cases only there may a seeming difficulty arise; that is, if the thought be notoriously trivial, or dishonest : but the fame answer will serve for both, that then they ought not to be translated :


quæ Desperes tractata nitescere poffe, relinquas. Thus I have ventured to give my opinion on this subject against the authority of two great men, but I hope without offence to either of their memories ; for I both loved them living, and reverence them now they are dead. But, if, after what I have urged, it be thought by better judges, that the praise of a tranflation consists in adding new beauties to the piece, thereby to recompense the loss which it sustains by change of language, I shall be willing to be taught better, and to recant. In the mean time, it seems to me, that the true reason, why we have so few versions which are tolerable, is not from the too close pursuing of the author's sense, but because there are so few, who have all the talents, which are requisite for translation, and that there is so little praise, and so small encouragement, for so considerable a part of learning.




Macareus and Canace, son and daughter to Æolus,

god of the IVinds, loved each other incestuously : Canace was delivered of a fon, and committed him to her nurse, to be secretly conveyed away. The infant crying out, by that means was discovered to Æolus, who, inraged at the wickedness of his children, commanded the babe to be exposed to wild beasts on the mountains : and withal, sent a sword to Canace, with this message, That her crimes would instruct her how to use it. With this fword She few herself : but before she died, she writ the following letter to her brother Macareus, who had taken fanctuary in the temple of Apollo.

IF streaming blood my fatal letter stain, ,
Imagine, ere you read, the writer flain;
One hand the sword, and one the pen employs,
And in my lap the ready paper lies.
Think in this posture thou behold'st me write: 3
In this my cruel father would delight.


O! were he present, that his eyes and hands Might see, and urge, the death which he com

mands! Than all the raging winds more dreadful, he, Unmov’d, without a tear, my wounds would

fee. Jove juftly plac'd him on a stormy throne, His people's temper is so like his own. The North and South, and each contending

blast, Are underneath his wide dominion cast : Those he can rule ; but his tempestuous mind Is, like his airy kingdom, unconfin'd. Ah! what avail my kindred gods above, That in their number I can reckon Jove! What help will all my heav'nly friends afford, When to my breast I lift the pointed sword ? 20 That hour, which join'd us, came before its

time : In death we had been one without a crime. Why did thy flames beyond a brother's move ? Why lov’d I thee with more than fifier's love ? For I lov'd too; and, knowing not my

wound, A secret pleasure in thy kisses found :

26 My cheeks no longer did their color boast, My food grew loathsome, and my strength I

lost :




Still ere I spoke, a sigh would stop my tongue; Short were my flumbers, and my nights were

long. I knew not from my love these griefs did grow, Yet was, alas, the thing I did not know. My wily nurse, by long experience, found, And first discover'd to my soul its wound. Tis love, faid she; and then my down-cast

eyes, And guilty dumbness, witness’d my surprize. Forc'd at the last, my shameful pain I tell: And, oh, what follow'd we both know too well! “ When half denying, more than half content, “Embraces warm’d me to a full consent, “ Then with tumultuous joys my heart did beat, “ And guilt, that made them anxious, made

them great." But now my swelling womb heav'd up my breast, And rising weight my sinking limbs opprest. What herbs, what plants, did not my nurse

produce, To make abortion by their pow’rful juice ? What med'cines try'd we not, to thee unknown? Our first crime common ; this was mine alone. But the strong child, secure in his dark cell, With nature's vigor did our arts repel. And now the pale-fac'd empress of the night Nine times had fill'd her orb with borrow'd




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